Monthly Archives: December 2010

NY Times Article on Dating

I was so glad to see this New York Times article on dating: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/28/health/28dating.html?_r=1&nl=health&emc=healthupdateema2

I was incredibly lucky in that I had already met my to-be-husband when I was diagnosed with Crohn’s, and we were already married a few years when I was diagnosed with Lupus, so I never had to deal with dating while also dealing with an incurable disease. Like finding a new job or parenting, I think dating is one of those inherently stressful situations where having a health problem makes it so very much more complicated. It’s great to see that there’s multiple websites dedicated to this, including Prescription4Love, which was started by a man whose brother had Crohn’s disease. (It says the brother passed away at 41, but doesn’t say whether it’s from Crohn’s or not.)

Now, that said, the complications don’t end with the ring. I remember my mom telling me once that marriage is just as hard as dating. I was shocked to hear this from her, because she and my dad have a wonderful marriage, but she explained that it takes so much work. I am glad we had that talk so many years ago, because she was right. I love my husband more than anything, so when the stress of life and especially my health become too much, it’s more important than ever for us to work through it. And that can be really hard sometimes. I probably couldn’t count how many fights we’ve had that really were because of my health when it came down to it. And he’s one of the few understanding ones who is so supportive. But when I’m sick and can’t help out at home, all the work – and stress – falls to him. So he has to work extra hard as well. And when I’m sick and stressed and he’s overworked and stressed, of course we get on each other’s nerves. 

I sometimes feel so bad that he unknowingly signed up for this. What if he’d been able to find someone who wasn’t as broken as me?

The Birthday Week

This is a big week in our house – in addition to the holidays, it’s the munchkin and my birthday(s) this week too, so we’re trying to celebrate without letting the craziness of the holidays overshadow the birthdays, and vice versa. Since I know how it can feel when that happens, I’m trying extra hard to make the munchkin’s birthday special, not just this year, but every year. And I’ve come up with the perfect way – starting this year, we’re going to celebrate in the summer instead. We’re still doing cake, hats and noisemakers on her actual birthday, but we’ll have a party in the summertime. That way, she gets a day that’s all about her and she can also celebrate along with her friends. AND-since summertime weather is so much friendlier, we’ll have the (cheaper) option of an outdoor party, rather than having to rent a place when she gets older. Because seriously, I am not having 20 2-year-olds in my house.

My parents also tried their best to make my birthday special growing up, and though sometimes my friends couldn’t come to my party, I always felt special and loved. My husband’s done his best to treat me the same way, and I think this year was my best birthday yet. He gave me a gift that I didn’t expect, and it was truly one of the best I’ve ever received. Each year on my birthday he writes me a letter, and this year’s made me feel so beautiful and so loved that I’m still glowing from it.

I decided that even though I’m getting older, and even though I’m starting to have wrinkles, and my gray hair count increases daily, if I am beautiful to the one man who really counts, then dammit I am beautiful! And that’s what matters.

I have to note here that on the morning of my birthday I discovered that I have a gray eyelash. I didn’t even know that was possible. It’s more curious than depressing, honestly. But I digress.

So-here I am one year older, feeling great (stupid Crohn’s and stupid Lupus laying low this week!), feeling beautiful, and feeling loved. Who said getting older is a bad thing?

Therapy Dogs

Great article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703886904576031521407391768.html?KEYWORDS=doctor%27s+dog

It’s about how therapy dogs can be helpful to psychiatrists. My mom’s training one of her dogs for therapy, and having grown up with dogs myself I know how healing they can be.

From the article:

“Research shows that a few minutes of stroking a pet dog decreases cortisol, the stress hormone, in both the human and the dog. It also increases prolactin and oxytocin, hormones that govern nurturing and security, as well as serotonin and norepinephrine, neurotransmitters that boost mood. One study found that five minutes with a dog was as relaxing as a 20-minute break for hospital staffers.”

An article in the same section discussed the top five health-related books of the year, one of which I’ve blogged about, The Decision Tree. The other that seems very interesting to me is “After the Diagnosis: Transcending Chronic Illness,” by Dr. Julian Seifter.

Get Up and Dance!

This morning the munchkin woke up and said to me “put on tutu and dance!” So that’s what we did.

Doesn’t that look like fun? Now, I don’t have a tutu (YET), but I did dance, and it was a great way to start the day.

Another great way to start the day? Tenant Appreciation Day at my office building! This is what greeted us when we arrived:

Also, coffee/hot chocolate, and also the building manager dressed as Santa, which was too disturbingly funny to photograph.

By the way, I made the munchkin’s tutu myself. So I’m thinking it’s time to buy some more tulle and make one for myself. You know, just in case.

Is it Time to Freak Out?

So, I haven’t had the best health luck over the last few weeks. I seem to always have a cold, and then the eye thing, and then losing my voice… I’m starting to feel better but I’m working from home today so I can continue to get better.

Here’s a photo from my desk of my co-worker, a duck humidifier. Keeping me productive! (Can you see the steam shooting out from its head? The munchkin LOVES this thing.)

Also drinking lots of hot water with honey. And avoiding dairy. And coughing like a monster.

So I’m feeling better, but I have this awful nagging feeling that the Humira is making me susceptible to too many things, and that it could be doing more harm than good. I mean, it’s so early and I just don’t know for sure, but when do you just say, this is not worth it, and I’m going to try another medication?

I don’t think I’m at that point yet, but I really do hate this beginning part when you get sick all the time. I think it’s worse now for two reasons – 1, Lupus, and 2, having a toddler. She’s such a little germ factory. Doesn’t matter if I wash my hands all day long, I still get a big germy kiss at the end of the day.

So, I do not think it’s time to freak out, not yet. I mean, I can freak out about a bunch of other things…but not this. Right?

Geeking Out Over My New Yarn Swift

I got an early birthday gift yesterday from my wonderful husband, who somehow got me EXACTLY what I wanted! (Okay I told him what to get. But isn’t it sweet that he listened?)

It is a yarn swift. For those reading this who don’t knit…honestly just skip this post because it’s all going to be geeking out over my new yarn swift, as I hinted in the title. But, if you’re still interested, a yarn swift pairs with a ball winder to wind up hanks or skeins of yarn into ready-to-knit balls. You don’t need to have a yarn swift, but it’s really, really nice to have. And this is a really, really, really nice one to have – actually it’s gorgeous.

This is how it arrived, in its own carrying case. I was practically peeing myself in excitement at this point. Handcrafted wood. Ooo woo! The maker of this thing of beauty is called Mama Bear, and you can find them here.

The first ball I wound was a gorgeous bit of handspun merino spun by my friend rora.

I also wound this beautiful new Malabrigo Bolita Azul #80, which is my favorite color of all time.

The swift was very easy to set up, and easy to use also. It spun nicely! And it’s adjustable, so you can use it with all sorts of yarn.

I already had a ball winder, as you can see in the photo above. Previously I made my husband stand with his hands outstretched to be my human yarn swift. This was much better. (Though not as handsome.)

Ta dah!

eye-Carly

I love my friend Lynne. She started calling me eye-Carly yesterday, which totally cracks me up.

My eye is feeling much better, and thanks to laryngitis, most of my friends were spared the gory details of what had happened last week. It all did make me think of how much we depend on sight or voice, and I was so thrown for a loop that it really makes me feel a lot of respect for anyone with a disability of any sort.

So – trying to stay positive and happy that things are getting back to normal.

I’ve started thinking Christmas, since we’ll be in town this year. I don’t celebrate but my husband does, so I want to make it special for him. He said this morning he wants to watch cartoons and stay in PJs as long as possible, and that sounds like a fantastic day to me.